Maasin mayor overwhelmed by public support for Covid-19 response

MAASIN. Children from the Maasin Outdoor Organization donate food items to the City Hall amid the health crisis brought by the deadly coronavirus disease 2019. (Photo courtesy of LGU-Maasin City)

MAASIN City Mayor Nacional Mercado is all praises to the assistance given by his constituents as the city is bracing for the deadly coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

“If we help each other and follow the rules to protect our health and secure our families, there is no crisis we can’t survive,” said Mercado after the local government continues to receive various help from ordinary citizens, professionals, and business owners.

The donations include lunch packs for the checkpoint personnel, rice, grocery items, financial aid, snacks, disinfecting solutions, thermal scanners, vitamins, medicines, washable face masks, and improvised face shields, among others.

“In this state of public emergency, we manifest our Maasinhon Ajonay way of life. Regardless of party and status, we are united as one for the welfare of our people,” Mercado said.

“In these most trying times, we are one people, one community, one nation in our fight against Covid-19. Amidst the health crisis we are facing, I am forever grateful to those who have the heart to help our community,” added the mayor.

As part of Covid-19 measures, Mercado led the city workers in their disinfecting activities in the city’s main thoroughfares and monitoring of checkpoints in Barangay Panan-awan and Barangay Pasay.

The city also adopted the “No Back Ride” policy on motorcyles as implemented by the Department of Transportation.

Its newly constructed building for child in conflict with the law in Barangay Combado will also be converted into an isolation unit for mild Covid-19 patients.

Mercado issued an executive order extending the suspension of classes and events to both public and private schools until April 15, 2020.

Since March 24, the city has imposed a total liquor ban to prevent people from social gatherings, particularly drinking sessions.

Curfew hours of 12 midnight to 4 a.m. for adults and 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. for minors are strictly observed all over the city.

A community quarantine pass was given in each household, allowing only one member of the family to go out to buy food and other essential supplies.

Also, the city adopted a four-day work week for its employees.

“At these trying times, I am asking for everyone’s cooperation. We need to fight as one against Covid-19. With our continuous commitment, we can get through this together,” Mercado said.

Some of those who immediately responded to the needs of the city were Engr. Tata Servacio and Josefe Salazar of CEAN Construction, Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative (Soleco) through General Manager Engr. Jonathan Empeño, Jollibee Maasin, Maasin City National High School-PTA through President Jonas Carlo Gutierrez.

Other sponsors were the JQD Construction, Saint Joseph College High School Batch 1991, Nikko Abadiano, Mr. and Mrs. Allan Ang, Malubay-Monter Family, Thessa Rich, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie and Sharon Arbiol, Farmacia Hiezel, Maasin City Badminton Club, Maasin Outdoor Organization, Christean Sumilhig, Sweet Rose Cakes, Pastries and Restaurant, J & F Department Store through Manager Salvador Beter Jr. and Assistant Manager Maricris Flores, Roll Inn’s Restaurant, Azotea de Maasin, Rotary Club of Maasin City through President Eufrocina “Yeye” Lao-Pinili, Mr. and Mrs. Ricky “Toto” Montalbo, SKWAA, Atty. Miguelito Lao and family, Mr. and Mrs. Yuri Carlo Yebes, Mr. and Mrs. Nestor Rodas, Supercha, Star Apple Foundation, Southern Leyte Provincial Government through Governor Damian Mercado, Vice Governor Coco Yap and the Sanguniang Panglungsod, Southern Leyte Congressional District Office of Atty. Roger Mercado, Mr. Aurelio and Mrs. Maricor Tocmo, and others.

Mercado also led in the distribution of 2,000 food packs to affected “potpot (trishaw)” and motor cab drivers in the city.

City Councilor Jigjig Acasio said they are already purchasing stocks for the next wave of 25,000 food packs for the indigents.

The budget will be taken from the City’s quick response fund.

“Praying that this (Covid-19) will end and that nothing else will follow or else our funds will be depleted,” Acasio said.

While waiting for the distribution of the P5,000 cash aid under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) Bayanihan Fund, the councilor said the city will distribute another round of food packs for the poor families if the need arises.

Mercado said that 16,101 out of 25,000 low-income families will receive the SAP cash subsidy, based on the budget allocation from the national government.

“Rest assured that we will coordinate closely to our barangay officials to give priority to the low income earners, with that information we asked for everybody’s understanding and cooperation,” said Mercado.


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